news: BRAZIL

Biggest bank robbery ever

Bank robbers have stolen more than 50 million euros after tunnelling into a Central Bank vault in Brazil.

The massive heist is the biggest bank robbery in the country’s history. The Central Bank vault in the city of Fortaleza, about 1,550 miles northeast of São Paulo, was hit last weekend. The thieves built a 262-foot-long tunnel from a house near the bank, digging about 13 feet below the floor of the vault. The tunnel had wooden panels and plastic sheets lining the walls as well as electric lighting, police revealed. Cameras and motion detectors inside the vault did not function when the thieves broke through the floor.

The theft was not even discovered until Monday morning because the bank had been closed over the weekend. “It’s something you see in the movies,” investigator Francisco Queiroga said. “They dug a tunnel … that goes underneath two (city) blocks. They’ve been digging for three months.”

The biggest previous bank heist in Brazil took place in 1999 when thieves got away with ten million euros from a São Paulo bank.